Why does the neck hurt and how to eliminate the pain?

The most common causes of neck pain

Neck muscle pain may be related to various abnormalities. The root cause can be either a musculoskeletal system disease or an abnormal functioning of internal organs.

Pain relief does not solve the problem: the diagnosed pathology needs to be corrected according to the appropriate course of treatment.

Possible causes of neck pain

There are many known causes that can explain the appearance of neck pain. The source may be musculoskeletal system disease, neck circulatory system disease, vascular disease.

Spinal pathology is one of the most common causes of pain syndrome. The neck may also be injured by internal organs, infections and viral processes.


Due to cervical osteochondrosis, the neck is injured due to thinning and deformation of the intervertebral disc. These diseases lead to the formation of microcracks in the vertebrae, which stimulate the growth of osteophytes and the appearance of hernias. Pathological formation has traumatic effects on surrounding tissues and nerve endings, causing inflammation.

Pain syndrome is located at the back of the neck due to cervical osteochondrosis. When turning the neck, the pain can aggravate severe discomfort.

Turning head or moving suddenly, the pain is more severe when coughing or sneezing. As osteochondrosis progresses, the pain further spreads and reaches the shoulder and forearm area.

The pain is particularly severe in the morning. The movements are also very stiff, and the patient cannot actually turn his head to the side.

The pain gradually disappeared, changing from acute to dull.

Electric shock patients compared the onset of severe pain in cervical osteochondrosis-this shooting and piercing.

Also for the specified diseases, the following symptoms are observed:

  • Weak hands;
  • Headache;
  • Fainted;
  • dizziness;
  • Noise and tinnitus;
  • Lost;
  • Insomnia;
  • Emotionally unstable.

Neck myositis

Cervical myositis is inflammation of the neck muscles. The main symptom of this deviation is severe pain, which may decrease or increase. The patient cannot turn his head and tilt forward or backward.

Most commonly, myositis pain only extends to one side of the neck, but sometimes it affects both. The characteristic of pain is exposure to the upper body.

In addition, with the inflammation of the neck muscles, the neck will feel heavier and the vertebrae will swell. There may be pain in the head, which spreads to the back of the head or temples. Difficulties in chewing and swallowing food were also observed.

As the pathological process progresses, the temperature rises, coughing and choking episodes occur.

Cervical hernia

This pathology is the result of the progression of osteochondrosis. This is very dangerous: there are a lot of nerve endings in the spinal cord in the cervical area. In addition, there are some centers responsible for supplying oxygen to the lungs. This is why a hernia causes headaches, dizziness and suffocation.

Possible symptoms of neck pain

A severe hernia can cause suffocation.

If the hernia hits the intervertebral disc between the first and fourth vertebrae, the pain is short-lived and sudden. As the disc slips behind the fourth vertebra, pain occurs in the shoulder area behind the sixth vertebra-from the shoulder joint to the fingers of the upper limbs.

In addition to neck pain, the patient also suffers from:

  • Weakness and numbness in the hands;
  • Decreased head mobility;
  • Migraine;
  • dizziness;
  • Impaired vision.

As the disease progresses, the coordination of movement is impaired and the stability of the person decreases.


In spondyloarthropathy of the cervical spine, inflammation of the facet joints is observed due to the destruction of its structure. In this case, the joints are under greater pressure and are damaged, which leads to the formation of osteophytes-the growth of bones puts pressure on blood vessels and nerve roots.

When suffering from cervical spondylosis, short-term pain in this area will occur, which will radiate to the arms, back of the head and shoulder bones. In addition, the sensitivity of the neck area is reduced, and its mobility after sleep is restricted. In addition, the patient noticed dizziness and flickering in front of his eyes.

The nature of the pain depends on the stage of spondyloarthritis:

  1. First of all, it does not actually exist: only long periods of exercise can cause discomfort.
  2. In the second stage, severe pain will occur in the morning.
  3. Third, people feel burning pain and continue to pain.
  4. In the fourth stage, the mobility of the affected joints is impaired, and over time, without proper treatment, they will be completely immobilized.

As the pathological process develops, other symptoms may appear: tinnitus, numbness in the neck and shoulder area, drop in blood pressure, impaired motor coordination.

Bechterew disease (ankylosing spondylitis)

Bechterew disease is a chronic inflammatory process of the spine that spreads to joints and ligaments. In this disease, the inflammatory process initially affects the junction of the bone and the bone, then slowly spreads to the upper part, exposing the entire spine to degenerative changes.

Sometimes, the development of the pathological process begins in the neck, which is cervical radiculitis. In this case, the patient will feel back pain from the neck to the arm.

Ankylosing spondylitis can cause spine stiffness, restricted chest movement, and decreased spinal flexibility. The spine curves in the thoracic and lumbar spine. In this case, the "requester pose" is observed.

The disease progresses slowly, so it has not been noticed for a long time.

Cervical tuberculosis

Tuberculosis of the spine can affect any part of it, and the neck is the least susceptible to this disease. However, this pathology still occurs (in 5% of cases).

The symptoms in this case are:

  • Continuous severe pain in the neck muscles;
  • The affected area is swollen and increasing in size;
  • Sore throat;
  • cough;
  • Difficulty swallowing.

The pain syndrome of cervical tuberculosis is very strong. The patient tries not to move his head, because this will cause him great pain. In this case, it will definitely damage all muscles, including deep muscles.

Cervical spine tumor

Cervical spine tumors rarely occur, but metastases from tumors located in the kidney and breast usually penetrate this area.

With a tumor in the neck, the patient will experience severe pain. As the pathological process progresses, the pain will become more severe.

Neck pain with tumor formation

In addition, symptoms such as:

  • Muscle weakness;
  • Muscle cramps;
  • Numbness;
  • Headache;
  • dizziness;
  • Difficulty swallowing;
  • Insomnia;
  • Dizziness, turning to fainting;
  • Sweat a lot.

Tumors high in the neck can affect the brain. This leads to the neurological symptoms mentioned in the list.


In meningitis, neck muscles are often sore. This is an inflammatory process that affects the inner layer of the brain or spinal cord. In this case, spasm of the occipital muscle fibers of the head will occur.

People with meningitis experience dull neck pain and cannot lie on their backs in a normal posture.

Meningitis also has the following characteristics:

  • A constant headache, in which there is a sensation of the skull swelling from the inside;
  • Cramps in upper and lower limbs;
  • Illusion;
  • Unintentional aggression;
  • Increased body temperature;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Cannot perceive bright colors;
  • Impaired consciousness.

Thyroid disease

Abnormal thyroid function can affect the overall health of the patient and cause a variety of characteristic symptoms.

This part of the endocrine system is located in the throat, so inflammation or other damage can cause neck pain. Similar symptoms also occur in the development of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, and thyroid goiter. The onset of pain is caused by enlarged glands and hormonal disorders in the body.

With these diseases, the pain is painful, regular and confined to the front of the neck. Pain may occur in the occipital area, ear area. Tingling may also occur regularly.

Other symptoms:

  • Hot feeling;
  • Increased sweating;
  • heart;
  • Sleepiness.


Cervical neuralgia is the compression of nerve roots, which is related to the destruction of the intervertebral disc structure.

Neck pain with neuralgia

Cervical neuralgia is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Accidental neck pain when rotating the head and touching the area near the occipital bone. In the initial stages of pathological development, the pain is located in the lower part of the neck, the back of the head, and then spreads to the eye area. The essence of pain is acute pain similar to electric shock.
  • Increased light sensitivity.
  • Sore scalp.
  • Constant headaches.
  • Blood pressure surges.
  • Fever, chills.
  • Shake hands.

High emotional stress and increased physical exertion may cause neck pain.

Which doctor should I contact?

The pain that often occurs in the neck is obvious and spreads to certain parts of the body. This is the reason to see the doctor.

First, you should visit a therapist. After analyzing the main symptoms, he will determine which specialist is needed for the specific situation.

The following professional experts are dedicated to determining the cause of neck pain and treating its pathology:

  • Neurologist.This expert deals with diseases in which the cervical vertebrae nerves are clamped or the spinal cord is damaged. This neurologist handles cases of neck pain accompanied by migraine, dizziness, and convulsions.
  • Traumatologist.Doctors deal with pain caused by injuries.
  • Spine orthopedic doctor.If the musculoskeletal system is malfunctioning-intervertebral hernia, spondylitis, experts will correct the patient's condition.
  • Orthopedic doctor.You should consult the doctor for pathological conditions such as cartilage thinning, scoliosis, osteoporosis, etc.
  • Osteopathy.This expert is dedicated to treating patients with joint and vertebral degeneration. Osteopaths can treat osteochondrosis and correct the patient's posture.
  • Rheumatologist.Doctors deal with muscle and bone tissue damage-rheumatism, arthritis.

In addition to the experts listed, you may need the help of a chiropractor, physical therapist, and massage therapist.

Diagnostic method

For neck muscle pain, the following diagnostic measures are prescribed:

  • Collect memories;
  • Visual inspection;
  • Check the sensitivity and mobility of the affected area;
  • Blood and urine tests;
  • Cervical X-ray examination;
  • MRI;
  • CT;
  • Electromyography.

Based on the diagnosis, the expert can determine the cause of neck pain and prescribe appropriate treatment.

What to do if your neck hurts: treatment methods

Treat specific diseases according to specific programs. It all depends on the root cause of the pain syndrome, but the main way to eliminate discomfort can be determined.


Neck pain is usually very severe. In order to suppress its severity, the patient was prescribed drugs. In this case, the following drugs are appropriate:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of tablets;
  • Muscle relaxants-pain relievers to relieve cramps;
  • Pain relievers used for disease progression.

For diseases that cause neck pain and are caused by the degeneration of cartilage and bone tissue, chondroprotective agents are needed-drugs that positively affect the recovery process and have analgesic effects.

In addition, patients with neck pain were shown drugs that normalize the metabolic processes in the affected tissues.

Physical Therapy

Physiotherapy procedures to treat neck pain

If the neck muscles are injured due to the degeneration of the spine, the following physical therapy procedures should be taken:

  • Dynamic therapy-The effect of double current wave on the affected area;
  • balneotherapy-activities related to drinking program;
  • Electrotherapy-The effect of electric current on the affected area;
  • Magnetotherapy-The effect of magnetic field on cervical lesions;
  • Laser therapy-Laser irradiation.
In the case of the patient's general condition is severe, during the deterioration of osteochondrosis, in the case of mental disorders, physical therapy procedures are not performed, otherwise the skin integrity of the expected affected area will be destroyed.

The adjuvant treatments listed not only help reduce the intensity of pain, but also strengthen the immune system, restore full blood circulation in the affected area and reduce the severity of musculoskeletal diseases.


If the pain syndrome is in the neck, complex treatments can also include massage procedures. They are performed by professionals, because the wrong method may cause additional damage to bone and muscle structure.

Sitting or lying down for neck massage can relax the muscles. The impact acts on the trapezius muscle that supports the cervical spine.

First, the expert performs strokes from top to bottom. After warming up, wipe the area of ​​the mastoid process. Next, rub the back of the neck and vibrate.

The massage process takes 3 to 10 minutes.


In the presence of the following lesions, surgery may be required to treat neck pain:

  • Herniated disc;
  • Compression of spinal nerve roots or radiculopathy;
  • Compression of the spinal cord or myelopathy.

The purpose of cervical spine surgery is to remove areas of vertebrae that have traumatic effects on the spinal cord.

Currently, classic surgery that requires a longer recovery time has been replaced by less invasive techniques:

  • Endoscopy, in which puncture is used to intervene;
  • Microsurgery can eliminate the hernia without damaging the tissues around the spinal cord.

Folk remedies

For neck pain, you can try folk remedies to relieve it. The most effective is:

  • Horseradish compressed.Horseradish leaves should be rinsed with boiling water, cooled to a comfortable temperature, and then applied to the neck. Wrap a scarf on it. Apply compress before going to bed and stay overnight. If you have a strong burning sensation, you need to remove the dressing and rinse the skin with warm water.
  • Laurel oil compresses.10 drops of oil should be diluted in 1 warm water. Dip the tissue in the liquid and apply it to the neck for 20-30 minutes.
  • Lubricate the affected area with honey.After application, you need to firmly press the treatment area with your palm and then tear it off sharply. Repeat until the honey is completely absorbed.

General recommendations

For diseases that cause severe cervical pain, you should pay attention to the following suggestions:

  • You must maintain the correct posture when sitting and walking.
  • If there is pain in the cervical spine during physical exercise, you should stop performing and let the muscles rest. In the future, you should modify the degree of pressure on your neck.
  • You need to take time to exercise regularly, at least not to be too nervous. Swimming and yoga are good for spine health.
  • It is recommended to choose backpacks instead of school bags: it can make the left and right sides of the body bear an even load.
  • It is useful for contrast showers. The alternation of temperature has a positive effect on blood circulation and will not stagnate blood and lymph.

The same advice can be used as a preventive measure.

Due to various pathologies of the spine, neck muscles will be injured, and the occurrence of pain syndrome is rarely caused by the pathology of internal organs. The treatment plan depends on the cause diagnosed by the doctor after the comprehensive examination.